The Bailey Magnet Magnum

Two Junebug Bailey Magnet Magnums. The top one is affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

On July 9, Paul Finn of Olathe, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about The Bailey Magnet Magnum, which the late Elden Bailey of Lawrence, Kansas, created in 2004.

During the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, knowledgeable observers regularly proclaimed Bailey to be the finest crappie and walleye angler in Kansas. He also enjoyed fishing for white bass, striped bass, and wipers. But he didn't give a hoot about largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass fishing. In fact, he occasionally made some belittling, but light-hearted, comments about black bass anglers and their quarries.

Therefore, he didn't design the Magnet Magnum for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass anglers. It was designed to be affixed to a big jig and to allure wipers, striped bass, walleye, and big crappie. When Bailey wielded it on a half-ounce jighead, he hopped and dragged it like he employed a spoon. In Bailey's eyes, all of the tentacles or appendages that drape off the tail of the Magnet Magnum made it more enticing than the traditional spoon that anglers used to catch striped bass, walleye, wipers, and white bass at humps and other offshore lairs.

The Magnet Magnum is a bigger rendition of the Bailey Magnet, which he created in the late 1990s, and it quickly became a stellar soft-plastic crappie bait. Scores of crappie anglers, such as Ray Brooks of Perry, Kansas, used it to inveigle untold numbers of crappie, as well as win a number of tournaments. One measure of its effectiveness and popularity was that it was featured in Bass Pro Shops' catalog.

Although Bailey used to utter some disparaging remarks about largemouth bass and smallmouth bass anglers, he asked some bass anglers to field test the Magnet Magnum and to tell him what colors black bass anglers and their quarries prefer. Ultimately, he made the Magnet Magnum in several traditional colors that appealed to black bass anglers. But the Magnet Magnum has never appeared in Bass Pro Shops' catalog. In fact, for some unexplainable reason, it caught the fancy of only a few northeastern Kansas black bass anglers, such as Bill and Steve Dillon of Topeka, Kansas.

In Paul Finn's July 9 brief, which described his evening outing with his daughter, he wrote: "Awhile back I was at Rogers Sporting Goods in Liberty, Missouri, and I was looking through their bargain bins of soft-plastic baits, searching for something new to try on the finesse rig. I came across some Junebug and black neon Bailey Magnum Magnets, which is a unique and solid-body 3 1/2-inch tube-style bait, and I bought a couple packages of them. I finally tried them on July 8. Throughout the evening, I took about 75 casts with the Junebug one, and on my first five casts, I caught three largemouth bass, including a 15-incher. I rigged it on a homemade 1/16-ounce chartreuse mushroom-style jig. From the get-go, I loved the way it undulated and quivered. I became so enchanted with it that I have ordered 100 of them in various colors."

After Bailey was killed in an automobile accident, Terri and Sam Kershaw of Paxico, Kansas, and Hook Set Tackle acquired the Bailey Magnet and Bailey Magnum Magnet molds and manufactured them.

But to the dismay of Finn, the Kershaws and Hook Set Tackle have not as of July 21 processed his online order at , nor have they answered the telephone at 785-636-5374, nor have they responded to an e-mail sent to info@HookSetTackle. com. Bill and Steve Dillon have suffered the same fate in their quest to acquire Magnet Magnums.

Thus, Finn hopes to eventually find a substitute for the Junebug Magnet Magnum.

But small Junebug-colored tubes, which have often been an effective Midwest finesse bait in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas are difficult to acquire nowadays.

Here are two substitutes for the Junebug Magnet Magnum that Finn and other Midwest finesse anglers can use:

One is manufactured by Mizmo Bait Company of Jonesboro, Arkansas, and it is called the 2.75-inch Bass/Walleye Teaser. A package of 12 sells for $3.99. Here is the link to their website:

Mizmo Bait Company's Junebug 2.75-inch Bass/Walleye Teaser.

The second is manufactured by Gene Larew Lures of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it is called the three-inch Baby Hoodaddy. A package of 15 sells for $5.99. Here's a link to their website:

Gene Larew's Lures' Junebug three-inch Baby Hoodaddy on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Jig.

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